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J.R.R. Tolkien - The Silmarillion




Author...............: J.R.R. Tolkien
Title................: The Silmarillian
Narrator.............: Martin Shaw
Genre................: Audiobook
Source...............: CD
Year.................: 1998

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Tracklisting
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1. (01:11:01) The Silmarillian [Volume I] - CD 01
2. (01:10:35) The Silmarillian [Volume I] - CD 02
3. (01:11:13) The Silmarillian [Volume I] - CD 03
4. (00:59:54) The Silmarillian [Volume I] - CD 04
5. (01:10:19) The Silmarillian [Volume II] - CD 05
6. (01:11:05) The Silmarillian [Volume II] - CD 06
7. (01:11:09) The Silmarillian [Volume II] - CD 07
8. (01:10:12) The Silmarillian [Volume II] - CD 08
9. (01:04:53) The Silmarillian [Volume III] - CD 09
10. (01:04:58) The Silmarillian [Volume III] - CD 10
11. (01:07:55) The Silmarillian [Volume III] - CD 11
12. (01:04:07) The Silmarillian [Volume III] - CD 12
13. (01:08:47) The Silmarillian [Volume III] - CD 13

Playing Time.........: 14:46:08


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The Silmarillion tells of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's
World, when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle Earth, and
the High Elves made war upon them for the recovery of the Silmarils,
the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor. It is to this ancient
drama that the characters in The Lord of the Rings so often look back.

THE SILMARILLION

Sit at the feet of the most beloved storyteller of the 20th century and
hear how the world come to be. The Silmarillion is told here in a
brilliantly faceted audio production, with all the glory of the First
Age itself. Dazzlingly performed by Martin Shaw, it sparkles with the
magic of the dawn of time�when Elves and Men roamed a world set
spinning through space by the haunting music of supernatural choirs.
Slip through the shadows and you, too, may catch the whisper of
harp-song on the winds of the high air above the mists of the world.

This complete and unabridged audio boxed set of Tolkien's elegant
masterpiece is one that will delight fans young and old. It is an
extraordinary classic keepsake to be treasured and listened to again
and again.

----

Born in Birmingham, England, Martin Shaw studied drama at the
prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and has since
gone on to star in over a hundred roles on stage, television and in
film. Most notably, Martin Shaw appeared in Roman Polanski's Macbeth
and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in 1996 for his
performance in An Ideal Husband on Broadway.

----

J.R.R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892 at Bloemfontien,
capital of the Orange Free State in South Africa. His English father,
Arthur Tolkien, was employed as manager of the local branch of the Bank
of Africa. When he was three years old, Ronald (as he was known to his
family) and his younger brother, Hilary, were brought back to England by
their mother, Mabel Tolkien. Before they could return to South Africa,
their father died of rheumatic fever. Mrs. Tolkien and the boys remained
in England, living for a while in a cottage at Sarehole Mill, near
Birmingham, then moving to suburban Moseley in 1890. The same year,
Mabel Tolkien experienced a conversion to the Catholic faith; this event

had a lasting effect on Ronald, and Catholicism became a motivating
force in his life and writings. As a child, Ronald Tolkien spent
considerable time inventing imaginary languages, a hobby which lead
eventually to the creation of an imaginary world where such tongues
might be spoken.

He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham, and from 1911-1915
at Exeter College, Oxford, where he read English Language and Literature
and acquired an extensive knowledge of Anglo-Saxon and Middle English.
These subjects were to become important not only to his later academic
writings and translations, but also to the shaping of his own fictional
mythologies.

In 1916, he married Edith Bratt, and went to serve in the Great War as a
Second Lieutenant with the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers. Towards the end of
the year he was sent home from the Somme suffering from trench fever,
and during his convalescence began writing his Book of Lost Tales, a
collection of stories about his imaginary world that was eventually to
be known as The Silmarillion.

After the war, he worked briefly on the Oxford English Dictionary. Then,
having spent a year as Professor of English Language at Leeds
University, he returned to Oxford in 1925 as Professor of Anglo-Saxon.

The Tolkiens had three sons and a daughter, and it was to his children
that Ronald first told the story of Mr. Bilbo Baggins, an unadventurous
hobbit who finds himself having the most surprising adventures. Because
the story was a favorite, he began to write it down around 1930. The
publishing house of George Allen and Unwin heard about the story and
encouraged Tolkien to complete the book. He did so, and it was published
in 1937 as The Hobbit or There and Back Again. It was a huge success and
the publishers requested a sequel. Tolkien had already offered them The
Silmarillion (though it was far from completed), but they were looking
for another book "about the hobbit." Then, in December 1937, Tolkien
wrote to them: "I have written the first chapter of a new story about
Hobbits�'A long expected party.' A merry Christmas."

Thus began the long, erratic process of creating The Lord of the Rings.
For the next twelve years, the work moved slowly towards completion;
frequently put aside, once or twice almost abandoned. But encourage by
his publishers, his family and his close friend C.S. Lewis, Tolkien
worked away, writing, re-writing, extending and embellishing the story.
As the work developed, it took surprising turns, threw up new and
unprecedented conflicts and introduced the simple, vulnerable hobbits
into a world of great heroes and mighty powers. It was the very world
whose early history Tolkien had been recording in The Silmarillion. Few
writers have undertaken the task of creating a new world with such
thoroughness: Middle-earth�the world of The Lord of the Rings�has a
geography, language, literature, history, mythology, flora and fauna
that is unique and unparalleled. The Lord of the Rings was completed in
1949, but publication was further delayed while Tolkien tried to find a
publisher who would agree to publish both The Lord of the Rings and The
Silmarillion. When this proved impossible, Tolkien allowed Allen and
Unwin to publish The Lord of the Rings on its own.

The book received a mixed critical reception: C.S. Lewis described it as
being "like lightning from a clear sky." while American critic Edmund
Wilson called it "long-winded balderdash," but they soon found an
admiring readership. With the publication in America, in 1965, of an
unauthorized paperback edition, the Tolkien cult began in earnest,
proclaiming its admiration by every means from theses to graffiti. In
1971, Tolkien's wife died, and the following year he received the CBE
and honorary Doctorate of letters from Oxford University.

Tolkien died on September 2, 1973 at age 81.

Perhaps the best insight into his personal philosophy is to be found in
his short story Leaf by Niggle in which an artist spends his life
engaged on a painting of a tree which he constantly reworks and
retouches. When summoned to take a final journey, he leaves the picture
incomplete, and with the passing years the work of a lifetime is
neglected and destroyed�save for a small scrap of canvas bearing a
single leaf. At the end of his journey, however, the artist comes to a
land where his tree, now complete, forms part of a creation more perfect
than the artist had ever envisaged.

The Silmarillion, edited by Christopher Tolkien, was finally and
posthumously published in 1977.
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*Map courtesy of http://users.telenet.be/endorion/eng/Maps/maps_beleriand.htm


13 - CD 13
[MusicBrainz (recording)]

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